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Macabre [Remaster]

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Editorial Reviews

Why is Dr. Rodney Barrett shoveling dirt in a spooky cemetery at night? He's hunting for the coffin holding his young daughter - his still living young daughter. She's buried alive, an anonymous caller reported. And Barrett has mere hours to find and rescue her.
Events of an even more unusual bent will follow in this shocker that began William Castle's string of fright films (including House on Haunted Hill and The Tingler) that relied on memorable promotions to grab interest and box-office dollars. The gimmick here: filmgoers were insured by Lloyds of London for $1000 should they die of fright while seeing the movie. No insurance offered with
this DVD. But in a way the film's closing credits are, well, to die for.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: William Prince, Jim Backus, Christine White, Jacqueline Scott, Susan Morrow
  • Directors: William Castle
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ALLIED
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2010
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0047DKLE6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,516 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Fussy Bloke on January 24, 2011
Format: DVD
When I was a kid I used to buy a magazine called, "Famous Monsters of Filmland." I would see photographs from creepy movies and they would fire my imagination. I wanted to know what happened next. Well, now, millions of years later, I remember some of the titles and I buy them when they show up, like this one for instance. They don't always turn out as expected.

The story concerns a Doctor who is hated by the townsfolk because they blame him for the death of a young, blind woman. While he is out his housekeeper receives a telephone call saying his daughter, a child, has been kidnapped and buried alive and has air for about four to five hours. On hearing this the housekeeper faints. When the Doctor gets back he revives her and she tells him what's happened.

Now, these people would never get any Oscars for acting. The girl takes forever to tell the Doctor the details of the phone call. The first thing out of her mouth is not, "Oh Doc, they,ve got your daughter and buried her alive somewhere." No, she goes on about how the person asked her where the Doctor was and that she told the caller he was out, then the caller laughed and frightened her and blah, blah, blah. When the Doctor IS told his daughter is missing does he scream and panic like a normal person? No, he's very thoughtful, takes a shovel and he and the housekeeper drive what seems like a long way to a cemetery to look for freshly dug graves. They dig here and there but find nothing. Various people turn up and they have discussions with each of them...Remember now, there is a child buried alive in a coffin slowly suffocating...but the Doc has all the time in the world. He even attends another funeral, held at midnight. Well, I'm not telling you any more, you'll have to watch it yourselves.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Gammill VINE VOICE on February 8, 2011
Format: DVD
Like another reviewer mentioned, I grew up reading and hearing about this movie for many years. When the films of the great William Castle started finding their way to home video in the early 80's, Macabre was MIA. I thoroughly enjoyed 13 Ghosts, House on Haunted Hill and The Tingler, to name some of the more popular titles. But in my mind's eye, I could still see that wonderfully spooky movie poster (see the DVD cover), and wondered if I'd ever get a chance to see Macabre.

So was the wait worth it? Well, for the most part, yes. Remember, this is Castle at the beginning of his directing career. Although he'd already started using gimmicks to lure patrons in the theater, he hadn't quite perfected the horror film. Which just means that, although Macabre is very well-made, the pace may be too slow for modern viewers.

Warner Bros. should be commended for taking time to do a proper restoration, something they still seem reluctant to do with many films in their "Made on Demand" library. If you like black & white horror and suspense films, the restored print used here is terrific. The audio track is mono, but it's clear and uniform throughout the film. And this is becoming a common complaint with these MOD releases, but there are NO extra features. . .not even chapter stops (although the viewer can skip ahead in 10 minute increments by simply pressing the chapter skip button on the remote). It's a shame, too, because the film's original trailer is wonderful. A disclaimer on the package states that the film, made on a DVD-R disc, may not play back on computer drives or DVD recorders. I don't know about the recorder option, but I've got a Blu-ray player and 52" screen, so I can't imagine ever playing a movie on my PC.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on November 11, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
...than meets the eye at first glance. It has been half a century since I first saw this movie. Watching it again for the first time in all those years made me realize what an impact it had on me way back when. Certain scenes just jumped right out at me as if I were still a child while I can now appreciate the rest of the film as only an adult can. The subject matter (a child being buried alive) would certainly be memorable and frightening to a child back in those innocent days of black & white three network TV. What struck me this time around is how well made MACABRE really is. It combines the look of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER small town America (the film was made in 1958) with the fog laden atmosphere and chiaroscuro lighting of the classic Universal horror films. Although Jacqueline Scott's performance is somewhat overheated and the script doesn't make a lot of sense in some places, the overall effectiveness is still pretty remarkable.

Director William Castle has never been given the credit that producer Willliam Castle has in the making of these films. This is the first Castle film that had a promtional gimmick. Each patron was guarenteed "Fright Insurance" from Lloyd's of London that promised to pay $1000 should they die of fright. Of course nobody did and the film made a small fortune and Castle was on his way. Despite the gimmick, MACABRE is extremely well made and tightly directed for maximum impact with a couple of genuine old school scares and a surprisingly serious low key performance from Jim Backus proving that there was more to him than just Mr Magoo and Thurston Howell III. Then there's the ending credits which are memorable to say the least. The Warner Archive made-on-demand DVD has an incredibly sharp black and white picture and, as usual, no extras but you don't really need any. For me, having the film available again is reward enough.
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Macabre [Remaster]
This item: Macabre [Remaster]
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